Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Dangerous Donut Holes

Have you ever sat and chatted with a young child about Jesus or stories from the Bible?  It is always interesting the highlights they can remember or how their embellishments add a hint of humor to the Bible story.

 The other day my daughter-in-love, who is the mother of two very active preschoolers, shared that she taught the preschoolers during worship service that day.  That day the Bible lesson was about Esther and how she invited the king to a royal feast.  They began to discuss the possible food that was on the banquet table.  All the toddlers, including my two-year-old grandson, agreed that donut holes were definitely on the menu.   She then sent a picture of the entire class all smiling surrounding a huge plate of donut holes.  The only child not looking at the camera was my grandson.  His mischievous little brown eyes were locked on to the donut hole feast laid out before him.

I share all this in fun but there is a message here.  There are so many people in the world today and in our churches who have a “different” idea about God.  One of the most recent ideas I have heard is that Christians are not called to share the gospel.  This person did not believe the Great Commission applied to today’s world but only to the early church.  My husband was patient with this person and simply asked, “Are there not lost people in the world today?  Do you believe the Bible is the LIVING word of God?”  The person stated yes to both questions.  Then my husband began to explain and share why it is vital that each Christian is called upon to bring others with them to heaven.  He then discovered that this person was uncomfortable sharing their faith so they CREATED their own “dangerous” version to scripture.

Although it is fun to imagine what food might have been served at a king’s banquet table, we must help people stick to the truth of God’s word.  Many people cannot accept that there is only ONE WAY to heaven through Jesus Christ.  They do not want anyone going to hell so they have people believing that any god will get them to heaven.  In John 14:6, Jesus stated, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Sometimes people make innocent donut holes in to dangerous donut holes by taking the Bible out of context and creating a new “gospel” to fit their needs.  Sisters, we need to be diligent to share the truth of God’s word at all times.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Get Rid of Your Junk

Junk drawers! They hold all types of “treasures” that get misplaced and forgotten.   If you are like me, you have at least one in your home.  I will admit we have three junk drawers.

I recently “decluttered” the junk drawer in the kitchen.  I honestly think I filled a Kroger bag full of scrap paper, several screws from who knows what, and a lot of general mess that took up space.  The drawer is somewhat organized with a few notepads, a couple of pens, and box tops that I save for my grandson. 

After I tackled that drawer, I decided to “explore” the drawer of my bedside table.  As soon as I pulled it open, I was overwhelmed.  How did all that “stuff” get in the drawer!  I spent the next couple of hours sorting through piles of junk-an old cell phone, physical therapy exercise instructions, pens, paper, cough drops, and so much more.  I even found Chuck E Cheese tokens and a small bag of M & M’s stuffed in the drawer!  That day I threw away almost everything in the drawer. (Oh, I kept the tokens because I know there is a Chuck E Cheese visit on the horizon.  I ate the M & M’s because you should NEVER waste chocolate). 

As I have thought on those junk drawers, I realized I keep too much stuff that has no value.  After a while the junk becomes overwhelming and the drawer becomes difficult to shut.  Hmm, isn’t that like our life when we hide our sin or stuff down bitterness?

I am trying to be more intentional this year and attempt to declutter not only my home but also my life.  I have a long way to go but so far it is freeing.

God does not want us to hide our sin.  We don’t and can’t even hide our junk from the Lord.  Let’s face it ladies.  We cannot even hide the hurt of ministry from the Lord.  He sees and knows EVERYTHING. 

So, girlfriends, here is another challenge for you this year.  Go declutter your junk drawer.  While you are at it, declutter the junk in your life.  I promise, both are freeing.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

He's With Us

The “empty nest”.

What will that be like? How will I feel?

It’s hard for me to believe that about a year and a half from now I will be (hopefully, prayerfully) sending my youngest child off to college. That’s a scary thought…will I be ready?

Indeed, that will be a new season in my life, in our home, in our marriage. I’ve heard of other parents really struggling with letting the last child go. In a sense, I’m already preparing myself mentally; after all the Lord gives us our children to raise them, but we cannot hold on to them.

I guess the thing that has put the “empty nest syndrome” on my mind a lot lately is that we are in the midst of preparing for several upcoming college visits, and some are very far from home!

I know that she will be okay wherever the Lord, in His perfect will, leads her. Yes, we are praying for her to be in the Lord’s will, even if it means sending her all the way across the country! I know, with confidence, that He will be with her. He is always with her; He is always with us.

The longer I walk with the Lord, the more I know and trust that His will is best, and I know that I can trust Him with every season of my life, even with the “empty nest”.

I’ve seen Him comfort and encourage me in all that I have been through. There have been some really wonderful life experiences, and some trials that have left me terribly brokenhearted. Yet, He has always been there, even when I was not aware of His presence.

I actually plan to enjoy these college trips as we navigate the selection process, because my faith tells me that HE will lead us to the right one……. His will be done!

So, trust the Lord with your seasons of life, for HE IS WITH US!

Saturday, February 17, 2018


I am VERY excited because I am going to get to attend the Pastor's Wives Retreat in a couple of weeks.  This will be my VERY first one.....but since it is Lana's last one.....I jumped through many hoops to be able to attend this year.

I am a teacher so I have VERY limited off days.  Also, Roger and I are VERY involved in the State Bi-Vo Ministry and serve on the council, so I have to use a day for our planning meeting and two days for our retreat, etc.

Because of my limited days off....I do not get to attend the Summit and I do not get to attend the Ladie's THIS VERY SPECIAL.

Maybe I will get to meet some of you face-to-face.  Hope to see you there.....

Friday, February 16, 2018

None of Us are Immune.....

I've blogged before about hurting people............

The end of January, we had our Bi-Vo Ministers and Wives Retreat...............and before we even got to Pigeon Forge, Roger and I were praying that God would use us and lead us to "hurting folks". 

Ask.....and ye shall receive.

My heart just aches for all of the hurt that filled that retreat.....full of ministers and their wives.

God directed us to couples
  • whose children had gone astray and were on the wrong path. 
  • who were grieving for their child who was in the final stages of cancer.
  • ministers and their wives....who were having marital issues.
  • who were ready to leave the ministry.....and give up.
And the list could go on.............

SATAN IS REAL..........and what better joy he would receive than to tear up or destroy a ministers home? alert, be aware and stay close to not leave ANY room for Satan to move in...........he's watching and waiting.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

God Supplies Our Needs.....

Just wanted to share this with you.....

Another blog about our "situation."

Roger's secular job ended in November......and he can not draw retirement from it for a year. 

(I might mention that in his previous secular job....he brought home twice a month more than I brought home once a suddenly our income was reduced by two thirds.)

He has signed up to substitute teach at my school....which he is loving.  It does not pay great, but he sees it as a ministry.

When he left his previous secular job, he was given a severance package, so we have been able to pay off our bills.

Because of all of the stress that the secular job had put Roger in, he decided to take a couple of months off and decided to keep praying and see where God would guide him.

Just a couple of weeks ago, we were discussing things and decided that we are at a point in life where we don't need a lot.  Roger said....if I could just find "something" to do so that I could be guaranteed to bring home about  "X"  a month.....I would feel more comfortable.

We've had a peace about this entire journey.............and knew that God would take care of us.

Last night at church, the finance committee recommended to the church and it was voted on and  passed to give Roger a raise that was $150 more than Roger felt we needed.

We are still in shock. 

Normally, if asked ahead of time, Roger turns down church raises and asks them to give his raise to someone the worship leaders, etc.  The committee had NO IDEA how much money Roger felt he "needed".

God Supplies Our Needs.....

Now, Roger can relax......dig deeper in the God's word so he can even better feed us and substitute teach and "play" with his woodworking hobby.....while having time to "be there" for our members.

We do not NEED a combined salary of two times what I make................but we did NEED "X"  amount and God chose to give us extra.

God Supplied Our Need........we just had to be patient and trust Him.


Back in December I blogged about "Hurting Folks" and how people all around you are hurting and you may not even know it.  I also shared that Roger and I were hurting because we were facing some struggles that we had never faced before..........some much more serious than his secular job ending.

I asked all of you to PRAY for our situation and pray for us.

I would LOVE to report back to you that the situation had been resolved...........but unfortunately, that is not the case.  However..........GOD IS ANSWERING PRAYERS......not necessarily the way we THOUGHT He would, but he is answering them.

Things have gotten much better on one road, but gone downhill on the other PLEASE KEEP PRAYING.  God KNOWS the situation and God KNOWS how to handle it.

Pray that we will TURN it over to GOD............and LET GO. 

Pray that we will accept the outcome and pray that no matter what, we will still PRAISE GOD for his Grace and Mercy.

It is VERY humbling to be on the side of the table where we are reaching out for URGENT PRAYERS.............

Things could ALWAYS be worse.................we have soooo much to be thankful our church our family, etc.

This is a DETOUR that God has sent us on..............and I am sure we have already and will continue to learn a lot from this DETOUR.

BTW....again....if you have not gone through the Bible Study.....David Evan's DETOURS..........I urge you to do so.  It is a GREAT study about our lives.

Thank you for the prayers and KEEP PRAYING.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018



We live in a world that if FULL of the wrong kinds of LOVE and very little of the Agape LOVE.

Sunday, I taught my little pre-schoolers about Agape LOVE...........the LOVE OF GOD.  God loves you matter what.  He does not love of because or if......He LOVES us Regardless.

Types of LOVE:
  • ...for our husbands
  • ...for our family
  • ...for our brothers and sisters in Christ
  • ...God's Divine LOVE.
Even the love for our spouses is not as sacred as it once was...............people today have MANY MATES over a lifetime.  It is almost acceptable for people to cheat on their spouses.
It is our jobs to SHOW the world how to truely LOVE our MATES the way God would have us to.

Also....if you follow the news..........the LOVE for families is not what it use to be.  Parents abusing children.......murders inside families......siblings fighting, etc.  The old saying....Blood is thicker than Water, don't always hold true anymore.

And.....brotherly love is not always demonstrated today.  Every week we hear of another church that has split...........or more folks who have left a church, etc.

We live in a DOG-EAT-DOG World and everyone is always thinking of #1.

The ONLY LOVE that has NOT CHANGED and holds as sacred today as it ever has is GOD'S DEVINE LOVE.

(I know I am preaching to the choir, but this blog is NOT private and ANYONE can read it, so I just felt lead to throw this out there.........maybe someone needed to hear it.)

May you have a Happy Valentine's Day...........and let others see Jesus in You!

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Hang Your Wopples......

If you have read any of my blogs, you know that I like to "Redneck" Bible Journal.

Several weeks ago, when we had more ice than snow and the media was telling everyone to stay home unless it was an emergency......Roger got a call from a guy....asking him to drive way out to a back road and pick him up and take him to his moms, so he could get in her car and take her to the ER.  Me, being me...........begged him NOT to go.  He told me he HAD TO.  Then, I said I was going with him and he said, no, you stay is too dangerous.  

I sent out a group text and asked some of the folks from church to PRAY for their safety......

In the meantime.....I went on Pinterest and found something to draw.....because "Redneck" Bible Journaling is my STRESS RELIEF.  The first picture is my drawing.....the 2nd picture was the example on Pinterest.
After completing my drawing, I sent it to a friend.  She sent a text back and asked me what "wopples" was.  I told her it was on Pinterest and I just copied it...........and I sent her the copy of the Pinterest example.  I told her it was probably their slang for least that was what I was assuming.
It was at that time that she told me to zoom in on the Pinterest example.
Upon zooming in.....I discovered that my "Wopples" was actually a fancy "Worries"
Pinterest FAIL!
But....since it is "Redneck" Bible Journaling..........everything is fixable.
I tell you all of this to tell you.................
not EVERYTHING is as it appears. 
Sometimes we need to zoom in and see things up closer. 
Examine the problem better. 
And with God's help............EVERYTHING is fixable.

Monday, February 12, 2018


We are surviving our transition period.  I say transition because we are still in the uncertain stage of life.  My husband lost his secular job in November because the IT department had been out-sourced.  He is sooooo close to retirement form his secular job............yet not close enough. 

(I'm sure it is harder for you to understand if your husband is a full time minister......but in Bi-Vo have TWO full-time jobs, but ONLY your secular job pays the bills.  Our home is 32 miles from church, so the money they pay him, barely pays the expenses.)

Roger will be 62 in March.  Unless he changes his mind, he will begin drawing Social Security in November, at a reduced amount.  In November, he will also be able to draw from his retirement at his secular job.  (The largest portion of his retirement is with Guidestone and since he does not feel at this time that God is finished with him at our church......he is not going to retire from church right now.)

The stress levels have been far as his secular job is concerned. I  blogged before, it has been a BLESSING that he lost his job.  The stress level before had maxed out.

Also....God has opened the doors that would have been impossible had he been working at his secular job.

  1. Roger has been able to fellowship and interact with other pastors.....which was next to impossible while holding down two jobs.
  2. He has signed up to substitute teach at my middle school.....and has been subbing some.  He has a new appreciation of "my job" and has enjoyed being able to interact and be around middle school age.
  3. At another school, a 7th grade boy was struggling and was headed down the wrong path.  God lead his mom to ask Roger to go talk with him.  Without breaching the confidentiality of it..............WOW....WOW.........God used Roger to help the entire family...............son, siblings and even parent's marriage.  Had Roger been working his secular job, he could not have as freely been there for the family.
  4. We, the church, have benefited from his secular job being gone........his preaching has stepped up even greater levels.
God is good...................all the time.

God sees the BIG PICTURE.............we only see the little view.

What we thought was a tragedy has turned into such a BLESSING.

AND.....God is ALWAYS faithful and takes care of HIS OWN.  Our family income was suddenly decreased by two thirds..............................but we have barely missed it. 

God is Good................all the time.

Sunday, February 11, 2018


On this rainy, Sunday Morning...................Praying for you this morning and looking forward to spending this week with you....

Friday, February 9, 2018

Weird Love / Love Weird

No joke - I have tried to write this post no less than 3 times.

Each time I felt like I was getting somewhere and then I would stop and reread it and it just hasn't felt "right."

So I will try again to get my words to somehow convey all these thoughts and feelings pinging around my head . . .

If I am going to "Redeem Valentine's" and "Love Like Jesus in the Real World" (titles of my last 2 blog posts), I am going to have to "Love Weird."

After I posted on Wednesday morning, I went to a meeting where I was encouraged to really connect with the ladies in my small group and to love them in a way that may be new or strange or, yes, even weird to them. (God used the discussion and devotion to confirm what HE has already seemed to be speaking to my heart through those last two posts.)

We cannot expect the world around us to "get" Jesus' type of love unless we demonstrate it for them -in how we treat each other and in how we treat them. This self-sacrificing, putting others first with no pretense or desire for reciprocation, is NOT found anywhere else.

This type of love compels us to forgive when condemnation is expected. It is rare and it is weird.

This "weird love" is far from blind. It is not weak or pushed around. It doesn't excuse wrong but rather exposes it. It produces restoration and pursues renovation.

It is NOT what comes naturally to any of us as it is strictly supernatural in its basic, beautiful and most intricate characteristics. There is nothing to compare it to in an effort to explain or define it. It is weird.

God has given us relationships that even in their best, purest forms fail to consistently and accurately mimic this love. Paul called the marriage relationship "a great mystery" because of the way it strives to symbolize the love relationship between Christ and her bride, the church.

"Weird Love" is "all in." Doing the hard things. Risking the heartache. Being vulnerable. Exposing our own weaknesses. Crying and laughing and doing life together in a way the world cannot understand and can only describe with the word "weird."

Over this week, the Holy Spirit has been showing me places and areas of my life where I am only "half-in." It has been convicting and humbling. I find myself asking Him questions like: "How can I step it up?" and "Should I even really be serving in this capacity?" and "What would You have me to do in this situation?"

While He hasn't answered all my questions yet, He does have me seeking Him. I rejoice in the "weird love" He has given and is so lavishly giving me. I am learning about how He is transforming me with it and how, in turn, to give it to others - how to both accept "weird love" and to give "love weird" to others.

I don't want to be normal. I want to be "weird" and I am okay to be judged that way. Peter tells us we are to be aliens and strangers . . . I think I can handle being described as weird, especially if it is the result of loving weird...

So . . . here I am this morning, wanting and trying to write this post, and yet feeling like I am still lacking a clear direction or purpose for it. . . Maybe I should just scrap it altogether and wait until my next turn to blog . . . Maybe you can relate - not to my inability to organize my thoughts, but rather to this tension of how to respond to what God is impressing on your heart or maybe you can relate to this specific calling to love weird . . . .

Yet, I still feel like I should hit the "Publish" button and put at least some of my mishmash of thoughts, reflections and feelings out there into the world of the internet...

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Loving Like Jesus in Real Life

I love carbs. 

I love dark chocolate and salted caramel. 

I love a good book and a strong cup of coffee.

I love my daughters. 

I love my husband. 

I love Jesus. 

The English verb "love" really has a variety of meanings. Obviously, I do not love pasta and bread the same way that I love my husband. I am thankful for the graces of being able to enjoy good candy and a good book, but those things pale in comparison to delighting in my Savior. 

When I list and look at the things I love I am filled with thanksgiving and appreciation to the Giver of all those gifts. And I find myself praying to love the Giver more than the gifts that He gives. He has pursued my heart and He deserves the praise and the obedience of it. 

What has He asked me to do? Who has He asked me to love? How am I supposed to fulfill that command?

"A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” John 13:34-35

This is a pretty tall order. God isn't asking us, but rather telling us that if we are to be identified as His disciples we have to love one another like He does - self-sacrificing, forgiving, 1 Corinthians 13 - loving...

I am selfish. I hold grudges and my love is far from patient - and that is toward the "one anothers" I "love" the most. 

Then there are "one anothers" in my life who have hurt me. There are those that frustrate me. There are those that get under my skin and irritate me. I can't understand them. I disagree with them. I judge them and their actions.

(Notice just how self-centered I am?!)

So, how do we do it? How do we do what Jesus tells us to?

  • POWER - We have the power of the Holy Spirit, living and working within us. Not of our own will, but by His might. What is impossible with man is possible with God. (Matthew 19:26)
  • PRAYER - We have not because we've not asked for it. (John 16:24) Asking for God to intervene and love through us- that is the very kind of request He always answers with a resounding, "YES." It may not be easy, but He will enable us to do what He has told us to. 
  • PERSPECTIVE -  Generalizations and stereotypes. Lack of faith and un-forgiveness. There are plenty of excuses we might acknowledge, or be innocently ignorant of, that we try to pass off as reasons for disobeying this command to love like Christ. Through the power of the Holy Spirit as we pray, God will soften our hearts and open our eyes to give us His perspective that we might see the individual as He does. Every "one another" we are called to love has a past, has present circumstances that we can't fully comprehend, and is valued by God in the same way we are. 
So, how does this play out in my life?

Prayerfully . . . 

I will seek my teen daughter's perspective as we discuss her grades and cell phone use. I will pray for God's direction to guide our decisions regarding our relationship with her. I will trust that the Holy Spirit will empower us to make hard decisions and to stick with the boundaries we have set for her. I will love her like Jesus does. 

I will try to understand "that" group within the church that seems to always be making waves. I will pray for them and for the church. I will pray seeking forgiveness and that no root of bitterness will be allowed to grow. I will trust that God's word is true and that He is somehow working all things for our good and His glory. I will love them like Jesus does. 

I will acknowledge that I do not truly know my fellow driver on the road, nor do I know their destination or departure point. I cannot know what kind of day they are having. I will pray for patience and grace to extend to them from within the confines of my seatbelt. I will trust that God is using His power within this opportunity to make me more like Jesus. I will love them like Jesus does.

These are just a few examples of how Jesus-type love can be enacted within my life. What about yours? What does it look like to love like Jesus in your real life? 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Redeeming Valentine's

I know I am a little early to post this, but maybe early is good . . .

Valentine's Day is next week.

Our local Walmart has AISLES of stuffed animals (some bigger than my 4 year old!), chocolates in various sized heart shaped boxes and tons of cartoon character themed cards.

The holiday has become very commercialized and it is SO easy to become cynical about all the hype. But before we write off St Valentine and all that goes with him, let's take a look at the holiday as God-sent opportunity.

Like all holidays, Valentine's Day gives us an opportunity to reflect.

Our culture chooses to use this holiday to highlight one specific definition of love, a romantic love. Yet, as Christians we are called to be counter-culture. 

  • As Christians we have a deeper definition of love. 
  • As Christians we have experienced a love that is deeper, richer, greater than any other kind of love that could be celebrated. 
  • As Christians we are the recipients of God's most amazing love - and that is something that is definitely worth celebrating.

The preschool where I work hosts "Jesus Loves Me" parties on the program day closest to the 14th. We are intentional to use this holiday to teach the children that Jesus loves them and that He loves them more than anything they can imagine. I tell these little ones that God loves them much more than I do and even much more than their parents. 

As a parent, when I am loving my kids the way the Bible tells me I should, I get a glimpse into how much my Heavenly Father loves me. Yes, I am modeling for them how God loves them and takes care of them, but I find that He is also patiently, lovingly teaching me. He shows me how He feels toward me, how He loves me. I can understand a little more of this love for me because of the love He has given me for my children. 

As a mother of daughters, I want my girls to know that their worth will never be found in any man or his opinion of her. However, I want them to celebrate and appreciate that God has and does and will continue to love them with an amazing love that provides all the fulfillment that they will ever need. 

Valentine's Day gives us the opportunity to remember.

Maybe this would be a good weekend to observe the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, reflecting on that great love that God has for us and how He demonstrated that love for us through the gift and death of His Son, Jesus.

Maybe this would be a good time to study 1 Corinthians 13 and/or the book of 1 John. 

Maybe we should dust off an old concordance or set aside time to explore that new Bible app to do some searching for more information on God's love for His people.

Maybe we could google St. Valentine and learn the actual history of the holiday. 

Maybe it is a good thing that we are looking at "love" the week before the holiday so we can be intentional to use it to grow spiritually and to glorify God in the process. 

Share Valentines. Eat special or fancy dinners. Decorate the house or front door. Do something kind for a neighbor - do whatever you do, but do it in a way that you talk about and remember God's definition of love. 

Sunday, February 4, 2018

More Benefits and Some Drawbacks

I recently wrote about just a few of the benefits of ‘retirement’, or as I like to refer to it, this ‘season’ of in-between.  We are in-between ministries.  We are visiting churches.  There are benefits.  There are drawbacks.

Besides the six I mentioned in my last post here….there are a few more  I'd like to mention.

1.      You can wear the same thing Every.Single.Sunday.  Since we have gone to four different churches each week, I simply pull out what I wore the week before and wha-la!  Easy peasy!  So standing in the closet trying to remember what I wore the week before so as NOT to wear it again…which was the norm for a thing of the past.  (For now, that is.)

2.      At 9:10 a.m. on Sunday morning you and your husband are still in the bathroom getting ready for church!!  Crazy, I say crazy!!!

3.      You can be invisible.  Sometimes I really, really like being invisible.  (See #3 below)
4.      No Sunday or Wednesday night church.  Now I totally know that this might cause some of you to gasp in shock and disbelief and horror....where others are right now sighing with longing and a bit of jealousy.


I must admit there are also many drawbacks to this ‘season’ of in-between. 


1.      I’m struggling with staying deep in God’s word.  Teaching ‘forces’ me to be deep in the word and I’m sad, as well as embarrassed, to say that without the two weekly Bible studies I taught I find myself wandering and somewhat rootless. 

2.      I miss the accountability of being in Bible study/small group with like-minded women.  Hearing their “God” stories and praying with and for them. 

3.      I miss knowing faces and people at church.  Most everyone is a stranger and I don’t know their hearts and their hurts.

4.      You can be invisible.  Sometimes I really, really like being invisible (See #3 above) but sometimes it feels really, really good being known. 

5.      I miss worshipping with people I know and love….even those who frustrated the wa-zoo out of me!!

6.      I miss being hugged at church.  And....sometimes I wonder if I/we will be easily forgotten.

I realize that all of these will come/change with time as the Lord directs us to where He would have us serve….but it is also good for me to reflect and ponder on the fact that, yes, ministry can be hard and sometimes simply unbearable….but that even in the hardest times there is much, much good!!

So, if you are in a season of not loving being a wife of someone in ministry and would give anything to get out NOW….perhaps my meager, inadequate and insufficient list of six drawbacks to being ‘out’ of ministry will encourage you.